LUKE GETS LEEDS OFF TO A FLYER

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/ By Nathan Hemmingham

LEEDS new boys Luke Mur­phy and Matt Smith com­bined to earn a dra­matic in­jury-time vic­tory.

The sides looked to be head­ing for a point each as the game en­tered the last of four added min­utes fol­low­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing con­test.

Then, Smith rose to flick on a long free-kick for the on­rush­ing Mur­phy to squeeze the ball home from close range.

It capped a dream de­but for Mur­phy, signed for £1m from League One Crewe in the sum­mer, and man­ager Brian McDer­mott was un­der­stand­ably beam­ing with de­light for his new re­cruit.

“I thought he was ex­cel­lent,” McDer­mott said. “He’s played at Wem­b­ley and scored a great goal there, so he’s no stranger to this type of at­mos­phere, play­ing in front of 30,000.

“He can get for­ward, score goals and is a great passer. He’s only 23 and is one for the fu­ture but he’s also one for now. He’s shown he can han­dle this step-up and this type of sit­u­a­tion.

“It’s a great re­sult and great per­for­mance, but we can’t get car­ried away. We are go­ing to have to work hard this sea­son.

“I had the same at Read­ing where I had to sell key play­ers and not have the big­gest of bud­gets, but some­times you have to work hard and be to­gether to get re­sults.

“I was de­lighted with the im­pact of the two strik­ers. I have al­ways been for­tu­nate to have subs that can change games and I have al­ways been for­tu­nate with late win­ners.”

Brighton’s new boss, Os­car Gar­cia, said his style of play would be heav­ily in­flu­enced by the many years spent as both a player and coach at Span­ish gi­ants Barcelona.

The open­ing goal, on 13 min­utes, would cer­tainly not have looked out of place at the Nou Camp.

A crisp pass­ing move was fin­ished first time by Leonardo Ul­loa fol­low­ing full-back Bruno Sal­tor’s per­fectly-timed ball across Paddy Kenny’s goal.

The lead lasted just six min­utes, un­til Ross McCor­mack did su­perbly well to fash­ion a chance un­der pres­sure in the area and beat To­masz Kuszczak af­ter Michael Tonge’s right-wing cross had evaded the vis­it­ing de­fence.

Leeds were grate­ful to Kenny just af­ter the hour when he pro­duced an ex­cel­lent dou­ble save to deny An­drew Crofts and then Inigo Calderon.

Leeds thought they had won it in the last minute when sub­sti­tute Poleon cut in from the left and curled an ef­fort to­wards the top cor­ner.

Kuszczak did bril­liantly to palm the shot away and, mo­ments later, Brighton al­most snatched it in a fran­tic fin­ish.

Kenny showed great re­ac­tions to keep out Will Buck­ley’s closerange header.

Yet, there was still time for more drama and for debu­tant Mur­phy to be­come an in­stant hero.

Gar­cia said his play­ers were dis­ap­pointed with the win­ning goal and felt the ref­eree had missed a clear hand­ball.

“I couldn’t see the hand­ball from my po­si­tion, but ev­ery­body said it was,” in­sisted Gar­cia.

“It is very dif­fi­cult to be a ref­eree and, if he missed it, I can un­der­stand, but we had a chance five min­utes be­fore to win the game.

“We started re­ally well but, af­ter the first Leeds goal, we be­came a lit­tle afraid and dropped back. We were much bet­ter in the sec­ond half.

“For the time I have had with the play­ers, I am pleased with how we have played. But there are a lot of things we can do to im­prove.

“I want to play a cer­tain way and that will take time for the play­ers to get used to.There were cer­tain things I didn’t like about our play and the play­ers will know what they are on Sun­day.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

WE’VE DONE IT: Luke Mur­phy, right, af­ter bag­ging Leeds’ last-gasp win­ner

TUS­SLE: Leeds’ Lee Peltier, right, and Ash­ley Barnes

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